It's a short week, after a prelude weekend. The focus for the upcoming day is being thankful, and celebrate our gratefulness concerning that with which we are blessed. For my part, I count among my blessings (certainly after my wife, my sons, my friends, my health and my heckuva-lotta-fun career), the recognition that I have spent a lifetime having fun following and rooting for the Angels...and a long list of great and less great players....and witnessed an even longer list of memorable moments, filled with both joy and sorrow...and was finally rewarded with a World Series Championship and a long run of team success and glory...and now possibly getting to see the world's once-in-a-generational master...and, finally, being blessed with this outlet, to spend a couple of days with all of you.
So thanks, and let's see what was going on throughout baseball this weekend, as we approach the holiday.
In the Heavens of Anaheim: A swarm of suitors buzzes around Jon Lester, but apparently the Angels are not being listed as among the flock.............There are other flocks surrounding other big names, and word is that the Halos are not flocking around Yoan Moncada or Yasmany Tomas............The Angel Stadium Groundskeepers have launched a canned food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank. When the Bank was located in downtown Orange, not far form the stadium, i spent quite a few Saturdays volunteering to repack contributions for distribution. It's a great way to show up and serve your community if you have the time and inclination.
Around Baseball: The New York Giants' Odell Beckham, Jr. made a Trout-esque catch during the Sunday Night Football game against the Cowboys last night. Unlike any of Trout's amazing snatches, when apparently no NFL players were bothering to watch a baseball game, a lot of MLB players were watching football............The only people happier than Giancarlo Stanton over his new mega-contract would be...the Tax Collector. After all, the Tax Collector will nab 43% of all that money and not have to even warm up. Ever............Not quite The All 'What Cound Have Been' Team' it could have been, since this list is missing the likes of Lyman Bostock, Nick Adenhart, Dallas McPherson...........One-time Angels GM Bill Bavasi, most recently VP of Scouting and International Relations for the Reds, is moving to the MLB office to head up the MLB Scouting Bureau. This is the central combine that provides common scouting services for all MLB teams, supplementing their own staffs. Bavasi, for the record, was Halo GM when Darin Erstad, Jarrod Washburn, Robb Quinlan, Troy Glaus, Scot Shields, John Lackey, and Alfredo Amezaga were drafted............The Red Sox are working hard to supplant the Yankees as some form of "evil empire". Rumors have them on the verge of signing Hanley Ramirez, and having a $95 million offer to Pablo Sandoval (who may be leaning in favor of Boston), and pursuing Jon Lester hard. As Bill Shaikin tweets, this could backfire long term, and in a huge manner.
Just because the history of our franchise is not full of riches does not mean that we are not rich with history. Our story has been crisscrossed with many phenomenal players, many phenomenal teams, and many phenomenal moments. Ir we were to take a modern approach and crowd-source our own Hall Of Fame, what personalities, moments and artifacts would you add to the Hall?
How about the mound rubbers from every no-hitter thrown at The Big A? The glove that Darin Erstad used to catch the final out of the 200 World Series? Gene Autry's cowboy hat? Programs and merchandise from the inaugural game? Alex Johnson's bat? Dick Schofield's grand slam home run ball? Vlad Guerroro's dirty batting helmet? Jimmie Reese's fungo bat?
What would make your list for the 20 greatest games (win or lose)?
Who would make your inner circle list? your outer circle list?
What would make your list of 20 greatest individual performances?